The following information is from The Winterthur Library, whose Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera houses collectible items of Lars Sellstedt.
Lars Gustaf Sellstedt was a portrait, landscape, and
marine painter. He was born in Sundsvall, Sweden, on April 30, 1819. At the age
of 11, Sellstedt became a cabin-boy on a Swedish trading vessel and worked as a
merchant seaman until 1845, when he settled in Buffalo, New York. Sellstedt took a studio and began his career
as a portrait painter.
In 1850, he
married Louise Lovejoy and they lived in New York City for a brief period of time;
she died a few years later in Buffalo. In 1853, Sellstedt visited Stockholm, but returned to Buffalo and married Caroline Scott
in 1856. Their home became a center of
Sellstedt helped to arrange an art exhibition in
1861 that led to the establishment of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy; he served as its president
in 1876 and 1877. In 1872, Sellstedt
sent his self-portrait to the National Academy of Design; it won a commendation
from Daniel Huntington and led to his election as an associate.
In 1875, he became a National
Academician. Sellstedt was active in the
Saturn and Liberal Clubs of Buffalo. In
1904, he published his autobiography From
Forecastle to Academy: Sailor and Artist and in 1910, Art in Buffalo.
Sellstedt died on June
CONTENT OF THE COLLECTION
The collection consists of 28 photographs of
Sellstedt, family members, friends, and house interiors. Interior shots feature ornate Victorian
furniture, a piano, oriental rugs, and fireplaces. Several of the photographs of family and
friends show the exterior of Sellstedt's home in the background. Two of the shots show Sellstedt and three
friends playing cards; another features Sellstedt and a woman (his wife?)
playing chess. There is a tintype of a
young man and three women. In another photo,
three men are cooking or drying fish over an open fire. Also included is a postcard from the Peabody
Institute Library acknowledging a gift made by Sellstedt, and a print of a crucifixion
scene painted by Sellstedt, with a note on the back. As well, the collection contains six
Valentine greetings in the form of verse addressed to Caroline Scott; one is